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jouke (587)


Jouke has been programming Perl since 1997 and started using Perl to write programs to make life and communication easier for disabled people early 2001. Take a look at his website [] for more information.

Journal of jouke (587)

Tuesday October 26, 2004
06:25 AM

Accessible dialogs

[ #21519 ]

Something has been bothering me for quite a while. My software (of course) isn't perfect and every now and then an error occurs. Since pVoice is a GUI application, I let Wx::Perl::Carp (by DH) handle the errors and warnings so a nice dialogbox appears when an error occurs. Depending on the severity of the error it may just be a warning, or it lets die application die.

But what good does such a warning do when you can't click the 'OK' button? pVoice is aimed at exactly those people. I've had multiple occasions when my daughter was confronted with an errormessage that prevented her from continuing working with pVoice. She then has to shout to us, we take a look at her screen, press OK and let her continue. That's not really functional.

So I've started working on AAC::Pvoice-based Dialog windows. With those you can just pop up a window that the user can confirm with a single switch. It has proven to be harder than I thought. Suddenly you no longer have one AAC::Pvoice::Panel that takes control of the input, but multiple of those. However, I'm pretty close to the solution, so another AAC::Pvoice class, 'AAC::Pvoice::Dialog' will be included in the next CPAN release of this module. And then there will also be a AAC::Pvoice::MessageBox, functionally equal to Wx::MessageBox, only with included Accessibility. The next step after that is AAC::Pvoice::Carp so I can catch warnings and errors, display them to the user, and let the same user close the window.

All of this started by creating a first pVoice plugin that needed to inform the user that an action had been taken. I didn't want a short one-line message to appear on a full pVoice window, so I needed a Dialog window....sometimes I make too much out of one small issue....

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  • just making the dialog box go away after a set interval?

    So, the user could click... or wait. Either way, the dialog box would go away.

    If you do this... make a preference somewhere to set the value of the delay. Also, make sure they can turn off the delay in case you need a screen shot of the dialog box.

    And, my own personal pet peeve, don't have the button say 'OK'. It isn't OK and I don't like that being the only choice... it makes me (as a user) think that I have no choice but to accept things the way